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Old 03-04-2012, 05:35 PM   #1
DSettahr
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Follensby Clear Pond Overnight 3/4-3/5/2012


With the unseasonably warm weather yesterday, I decided to do an easy overnight. At first, I was thinking about just spending a night in the woods near where I live, but then I remembered that I'd been meaning to check out Follensby Clear Pond. Follensby Clear Pond is near Fish Creek Ponds, and I've often driven by it during the summer and seen the parking area at the boat launch full. Follensby Clear Pond also has a lean-to on an island midway up the pond, which I still needed to stay in to count it towards the Lean-to Challenge. What better way to visit the pond then on a winter weekend? I'd likely have the whole pond to myself at night, and I'd be able to easily cross the ice to get to the island.

I arrived at the launch in late afternoon- there are two launching areas on the south side of the pond, neither of which are maintained in winter. At the northern of the two launches, however, I discovered thatb for winter access to the pond, a pull off is maintained on Moss Rock Road, across route 30, with plenty of room to park without interfering with plowing.

Darkness started to fall as I crossed the pond, and boy did the wind pick up too. Fortunately, despite all the driving wind and sidways snow, the temperatures were quite warm and I can no trouble keeping myself from getting cold. The surface of the lake was covered in very, very slushy snow, though- ranging from a few inches deep to half a foot in spots. A couple of times I broke through the crust into a slushy pool of water, and had a mini-heart attack until the solid ice below stopped my descent!

The lean-to is on an island located in the narrows midway up the lake, about a mile from the launch. I reached the island just as it was getting too dark to see. Lots of fresh footprints and remnants of a fire- it appeared that the lean-to had been occupied as recently as the night before! It didn't take me long to make myself comfortable, cook dinner, and settle in for the night.

It was pretty windy all evening up until about midnight. At times a strong gust would blow snow into the back of the lean-to, but for the most part I stayed pretty comfortable. Despite being on an island, the lean-to was well sheltered by trees, and the lake there is narrow enough that the winds didn't pick up like they had on the more open southern part of the lake.

I awoke this morning to a winter wonderland- the wind had completely died down, there was an inch of fresh snow on the ground, and the snow was continuing to steadily fall. I hung out at the lean-to for a little bit while it got light out, then packed up. Before I headed out, I took some time to explore- the carry to Horseshoe Pond was nearby, and so I headed over there to check out that pond. I visited Horseshoe Pond last spring on a day hike from Floodwood Road, and it was neat to return in the depth of winter. I saw old snowshoes tracks on the peninsula of that pond, but no recent sign of human visitation.

Headed back to Follensby, where I grabbed my pack and sled from the island, and started back to the boat launch. By now, the slushy snow on top of the ice had solidified somewhat, but there were still a few wet spots here and there. My tracks from the afternoon before had been completely obliterated by the snow and wind!

Definitely a fun and easy trip- and one more lean-to to check off as I work my way towards the challenge (I think this is #110 or so). I'm also glad to have visited there in the off-season- judging from the register at the launch, Follensby Clear Pond is a pretty popular destination during the summer months. It looks like very few people ever venture beyond the pond though, as I saw very few entries listing nearby bodies of water (like Horseshoe or Pollywog Ponds) as destinations. Certainly a worthwhile destination, if you can avoid the summer weekend crowd, or just to use as a gateway to get to a more secluded campsite on one of the interior lakes in the area!
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:01 PM   #2
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Follensby Clear is probably one of my favorite lakes in the adirondacks. I've spent a many summer nights on the islands of follesnby!!
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:46 AM   #3
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We usually try to get there if only for a day each fall. It is a beautiful lake and yes-popular! We've spent hours just watching the eagles from the canoe and there are several short portages to the surrounding lakes and ponds. Caught a few nice bass there as well! Never had the pleasure of a winter visit, but what a great idea!
Do you ever get used to that slushy wet snow on the lake where just for that second you think... am I going thru? Our hearts are getting too old for that.....thanks for sharing .
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethfit View Post
Do you ever get used to that slushy wet snow on the lake where just for that second you think... am I going thru? Our hearts are getting too old for that.....thanks for sharing .
It was one of those things where logically, I knew that there was solid ice beneath, and I wasn't in any risk of going through, but that didn't stop my heart from skipping a beat... The ice on many of the lakes up here is thick enough that folks are driving their trucks on it, even with the west slushy layer on top.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:21 AM   #5
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Cool photos and tr B.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:31 AM   #6
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One of my favorite easy destinations too. Our camp is just up the road and when I'm looking for a quick paddle this pond and Pollywog are where I often head. We rent our camp in the summer, so if I'm heading up after work on the weeks when it's rented I'll often head to Follensby Clear Pond and paddle out to one of the campsites at midnight or so, set up the hammock, and spend the night to get the trip started. Then next morning I'll go to camp mow the lawn and do any other chores and head out to the SRCA or wherever for the next couple of days.
Follensby Clear would be a great base for new canoe trippers of folks with young familys. Loons, eagles, bass fishing, swimming and many good short destinations tor easy paddling with youngsters that still has the feel of the wild in them. Of course I'm never up north on the weekends, midweeks are not that crowded.

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Old 03-05-2012, 10:48 AM   #7
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Follensby Clear would be a great base for new canoe trippers of folks with young familys. Loons, eagles, bass fishing, swimming and many good short destinations tor easy paddling with youngsters that still has the feel of the wild in them.
I was surprised to see from the register how many people put "Follensby" as their only destination- the carries into Horseshoe or Pollywog are short and easy. Maybe most folks camp out on Follensby, and day trip further into the interior, and just don't mention that in the register.

Ever since I was a kid, I've always wanted to camp out on the island campsite near the inlet from Rollins Pond on Floodwood Pond. We'd always camp out at Rollins Pond, and at least once we'd paddle down the outlet into Floodwood and poke around and explore. Once my dad and I did the whole loop, Rollins to Floodwood to Fish Creek to Copperas to Whey back to Rollins. I remember getting stuck carrying all of the food in a canvas bag that felt as heavy as I was, while my dad had to carry the aluminum canoe by himself on the carry from Copperas to Whey...
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:31 AM   #8
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i went through this same area as part of a canoe trip last summer. i had considered camping at the very same lean-to but (unsurprisingly) it was occupied already. very cool to see the exact same things i saw, but in the exact opposite season!
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